Who am I?

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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Friday 11 May 2018

Keep coming

It was whilst I was an employee of Batchelor's (The Unilever owned version) at the soup mine in Ashford, fantastic memories of very happy days with an outstanding group of guys and gals, that I first became aware of this new fangled internet/worldwide web stuff. One particular website stood out as a beacon of what this information technology meant to the ordinary guy. The ability to voice opinions, without fear of censorship, directly into cyberspace. Nothing to do with pornography, racism, politics or religion, the "Birds of a Cheshire Garden" was a labour of love by a guy who's ill-health meant that his garden was the limit of his mobility. Sadly, I cannot find any reference to this pioneering enterprise, thus am unable to give full credit to the visionary individual who's efforts were, in all but name, a blog; long before Google ever got involved. There was one post (diary entry?) which remains in my memory, the day when he had a Mediterranean Gull fly over his tiny "patch". The words were written with such passion that it left you in no doubt as to the impact this particular encounter had. Grammar and spelling mean jack shit - the ability to purvey the intensity of a moment being the whole point of communication, done with aplomb on that occasion and has stayed with me ever since. Why am I recalling this tale?  Today it happened to me, but not a silly Med Gull, even more bizarre, a bloody male Greenfinch! I know that I'll see Med Gulls around Newlands Farm, particularly during the autumn migration period, Greenfinches have disappeared off the radar so to have two, in two days, is mental.

An incredibly frustrating set of encounters, the bird was singing at one point, and had made a fleeting visit to the feeders, but no photo obtained. Two, very photogenic, Goldfinches dropped down, El Gringo joined them, but remained hidden in the shade. Three hours after my initial sighting, I was almost ready to leave for work, when it landed, in full sunlight on the feeders, Bev loading the washing machine between me and the camera! Chaos ensued as I grabbed two shots, through the double glazed backdoor panel, before it spooked and I needed to leave for the afternoon shift. Result and much basking in smug fulfilment - job's a good'n. Not that I knew that until I got back home after my shift. A Sparrowhawk, over, being the only other notable sighting during a rather eventful morning.
The reason for my adrenaline rush - a male Greenfinch. Sadly showing the tell tale signs of the
trichinosis infection that has decimated the species over the past decade - his feet ain't good! 

Eyes to the skies - the patch watchers "sea watching" ( as recently defined by Steve Gale and I ain't arguing ) 


  1. Something that I always like is seeing people get great enjoyment out of ordinary birds, such as you with the arrival of the Greenie. So many modern birdwatchers seem to have lost that simple pleasure and for that reason so many birds get overlooked in pursuit of the rarity. We have the same problem in trying to get people involved in various census's these days and as a result, far to often it's still us "old boys" that are out in all weathers counting the ordinary birds.
    You also made a valid point on your last blog, about the feeding of Red Kites in gardens, the artificial-ness being something I've always been not keen on but, it's true, what's the difference between that and feeding any other birds in the garden - nothing, 'cept size. All in all you make some very valid points.

    1. Cheers for this Derek, feeding garden birds has provided generations of "casual" observers with great satisfaction. They are doing something positive, for nature, within their personal space. I suppose it has more to do with the location of the garden, as to the species which are perceived as "unwelcome"? The stereo-typical Blue Tits on peanuts is a long outdated garden feeding station scenario. The modern feeding station has been designed to accommodate a far wider variety of food items, thus attracting a more diverse range of species. That House Sparrows are still the dominant visitors to my own garden is very much an indication of the current status of the species around Dumpton, thus I'm in a very fortunate situation and recognise it as such; knowing just how scarce they are where my brothers live - Herts & Bucks!
      I am aware of a consensus opinion that is opposed to feeding the Herring Gulls around Thanet. I'm not able to align myself to this logic as these gulls are actually living on the coast - exactly where "sea gulls" are supposed to be. It's not called The Isle of Thanet because we're located in the "shires" of middle England! It's an isle because geography dictates and the gulls are part and parcel of the situation. Not feeding them in the local gardens will not deter them from being at home in the coastal environment in which we live. Until some smart arse comes up with a device that attracts "Blue Tits Only!" I will continue to feed the birds and enjoy whatever species turns up. Gulls, pigeons, magpies and crows - all are welcome at the Cafe Wraftie - a Red kite would get the top table! - Dyl